SpaceX on Tuesday put Spanish satellite Hispasat 30W-6 into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the company announced. The California-based aerospace manufacturer launched the satellite at 12.34 am, using a Falcon 9 rocket, reports Efe news.
It was placed in a geo-stationary orbit minutes later where it will now be testing its functionalities for several weeks. Following the test phase, the satellite will assume its final orbital position, 30 degrees West, and replace Hispasat 30W-4, in orbit since September 2002. The launch was initially scheduled for last week but was postponed after defects in the pressurization system on the Falcon 9’s payload fairing were detected.
“Falcon 9 flight 50 launches tonight, carrying Hispasat for Spain. At 6 metric tonnes and almost the size of a city bus, it will be the largest geo-stationary satellite we’ve ever flown,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted twice on Monday night prior to the launch.
The satellite, manufactured by Space Systems Loral in Palo Alto, California, with significant contribution of the Spanish aerospace industry, will allow access to high-speed internet in rural areas and help address the digital divide in Latin America, Spain and North Africa, operator Hispasat said in a statement. Watch the
The Space transport services provider said it will also reinforce the distribution of audiovisual content in Latin America and provide connectivity in high-speed trains or at sea in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.